Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tiny Cottage Kitchen Makeover- Take 2

You may remember our attempt to gain some counter space in our TINY cottage kitchen at Oak Island.

Weeeeellllllllll, as usual, that wasn't enough.

A: I couldn't leave well enough alone.
B: I wasn't satisfied.
C: I am a nut case who is looking for a project.
D: All of the above.

As much as I hate to admit it, if you answered D, you'd be right. 

Cottage Kitchen: Before

Believe it or not, it was actually worse than this originally. The refrigerator died and we found a replacement with an icemaker at a local second-hand place. That was the beginning of the snowball effect. 

Removing the weird laundry sink proved to be a major improvement. Bringing the refrigerator out so it opens into the living room opened up the galley style kitchen considerably. 

Ann-Sacks-twighlight-gloss-subway-tile, Edsvik-Ikea-sink

And the countertops..... Can we talk about the counter space? Ahhhh. SO much better. 
I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start with the demo. 

It's always fun to take down walls and find that the wall that holds the wall-mounted bathroom sink was eaten alive by termites. 

That, my friends is a chewed up piece of wood. Termite damage is no joke. Luckily, all the little boogers were dead and gone; eradicated by the last people who "renovated". 

New framing. New plumbing. New wiring. 

Our pooch, Georgia, did not like the vacuum. But she's going to love all the new space in the cottage.

Me: Can you just move the sink over a bit?

Patrick: You mean, move the plumbing?

Me: Well, yeah, that's not a big deal, right?

Patrick: (mean face)

Fast forward a few days and these two butts are under the cottage running pipes, electrical and other various ugly things that I don't care about. 

I'll make a (not) quick road trip to Charlotte to get the fun stuff. 

The Ikea Numerar Beech Butcherblock Countertop was actually IN stock. Everytime I check, it's out of stock, so there must be a lot of these counters in North Carolina. I am SO curious what everyone used to seal them. 

 Ikea Edsvik Faucet. How cute is this little guy? He's so retro and vintage and charming all wrapped up into one inexpensive faucet. 

Ikea Fyndig Stainless Sink with Drainboard. No, there's no dishwasher in the cottage. The green side of me hates using paper products, so I figured I'd get a drainboard to encourage hand-washing. 


Remember the score of the century, the gigantic lantern light fixture from the Durham Habitat store? And the Cheetah captain's chairs?
Well, this glossy subway tile has moved into first place in the category of awesome Habitat finds!

 $0.18 a piece. $9.00 a box


This image is on the Ann Sacks website but it does not do this tile justice. 

In some lights it looks gray, and in some a little green, or even aqua. Depending on where you stand in the room and the light coming in, it reads blue-gray-white-green-aqua. Amazing tile! 

I hope Patrick bought enough for the downstairs beach bathroom. Even if we have to order some more at full price, it will be worth it~
I want this tile everywhere! 



After reading and re-reading many, many blog posts about how to seal the beech Ikea Numerar butcherblock counters, we decided to use Waterlox. I think Patrick put on a total of five coats, letting each dry thoroughly in between. 
It was not a fast process, but we rent the cottage in the summer and I wanted these countertops to LAST, without having to worry about oiling and re-oiling. 


Finally, I have a fun surprise! Patrick set up the GoPro camera and did a time-lapse video of the entire project. In just a few minutes, you can see how the whole thing went down. Just push the play button and enjoy. I love it!

Cottage Kitchen Update on Youtube

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to sell your pet-friendly house to (potentially) non pet-friendly buyers.

There are 78.2 million pet dogs in the United States. One of the sweetest lives at my house. Unless, that is, you are a UPS driver. For whatever reason, Georgia detests our UPS guy. She hears him coming from a mile away and barks until he tosses my Amazon package on to the porch and runs away in fear for his life. 

Georgia, dreaming about a peanut-butter-covered UPS driver for lunch.

The actual odds of a dog attack are in fact 1 in 9,953,955 per year, but people are irrational. My son Ben is afraid of mountain lions and other big cats. He has nightmares that one is going to sneak in his window and eat him in the night. See? Irrational. As if a mountain lion had opposable thumbs and could unlatch a window.

So, here's a little tip for my UPS driver:


Yeah, that's right, the FedEx guy gets it. But anyway, on to my blog post about having your house on the market with pets in the home......


Out of sight. Out of mind.

Irrational or not, if at all possible, keep your pet out of the house when you have a showing. Nobody wants an over-eager dog jumping on them when they walk in the door of a home. If your pet must be home, put him away in a crate or closed off area and make sure the showing instructions are clear about his whereabouts. 

Cynophobia: The irrational fear of dogs.

Get Fresh.

People are really sensitive about pets and even the biggest pet lover doesn't want to walk into your home and see or smell your pet. Off-putting pet "aromas" are a darn good reason to turn around and walk right out. So clean the litter box, crate Kujo, clean up poop in the yard and remove all evidence of Fifi's existence. 

Consider hiding the litter box in an out of the way place.

Fur Be Gone.

You spent hours de-cluttering and staging your home, but did you forget abut the pet hair? If you have carpeting that traps pet hair and odors, invest in a good carpet cleaning and have them clean any upholstery too. Vacuuming isn't enough. 


Make sure any gnawed woodwork, scratched hardwoods or hole-y weather stripping has been repaired or replaced. Even small areas of disrepair can leave a potential buyer wondering what else has been neglected?

My Swiffer refills are due to arrive today at 11 via UPS. Maybe Georgia and I will wait for him on the front porch. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Create a space savvy solution in the kitchen~ Add a built in banquette

Have a cramped dining space? A banquette can be your space savvy solution! It can be used as a casual dining spot, homework station, or a resting spot for reading the paper while sipping your morning coffee.
From Pinterest

When there's limited space to move a chair in and out, a stationary seat is the better option. This banquette fits snugly here, but doesn't  appear cramped, as chairs most certainly would.


I have an old headboard in my garage that I've been debating turning into a bench for my farm table. I love this one that I found on the Freddy and Petunia blog



I especially like the look of a corner seating area with a round table. How cozy!

This was the inspiration for Catherine's kitchen nook:


And this is how it turned out:

In case you can't commit to a true built in piece, there are other options. Like this curved, free standing piece from Overcourt.

World Market also has a nice option; the Hayden bench:

Whatever your size parameters, a built in banquette can be the answer to your decorating dilemma. 

From: Style Carrot
Hooking up with:

The Girl Creative
The Girl Creative

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jacki's House Tour: Frank Betz Souders Pointe Floorplan

Well, almost a year after starting our blog, I've finally gotten my house tour together! I hope you'll enjoy a glimpse into my home.

Here's our wonderful curb appeal~


Patrick, a General Contractor, built our home in 2008 and we've had five and a half wonderful years here. It's a Frank Betz floor plan, called Souders Pointe; a great, family-friendly layout.


I do love the triple front doors. I think it adds a bit of drama to the front porch, don't you?


Come on in and stay awhile! Our foyer is a bit grand (some say bowling alley) but I've tried to soften it with cozy fabrics and an ever-changing selection of rugs!

Dining Room:

You know my thoughts on formal dining rooms...So it's no wonder we put a pool table in ours! The paint color is Sherwin Williams Mannered Gold. The trim throughout the house is SW Ivory Lace.


Looking into the foyer....
Paint color in the foyer is Benjamin Moore Stonehouse.

Family Room:

One of my favorite things about the family room is this coffered ceiling. It adds so much character and warmth to an enormous space. The color on the ceiling is Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments.

Here's that gallery wall I obsessed over  had a hard time getting right.
gallery-wall, benjamin-moore-stone-house

Check out my Pottery Barn leather ottoman I scored on Craigslist and my goodwill chair. I saw the EXACT chair in Better Homes and Gardens the month after I paid $35 for it!

Home Decorators Impression Rug  
Pottery Barn Sullivan Leather Ottoman


Some people may consider two refrigerators overkill but with three growing boys (and their friends), I consider it necessity! We drink six gallons of milk a week. Yes, you read that right, six.


copper-farm-sink, pull-out-step-under-sink

My boys are as big as I am now, but when we first moved in, my little cooks needed a step up to wash their hands. I love this little extra touch the cabinet maker did for us.



inset-cabinet-doors, maple-glazed-cabinetry

You can read about the construction of the beautiful Farm Table Here.
Keeping room off the kitchen.

Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Saddlestitch Rug

This is the Keeping Room off the kitchen. I call it my office.

The master bathroom is really quite a retreat. The tub has heated air bubbles instead of jets. Heaven!



The shower has separate shower heads on either side and a rain head in the center. Patrick jokes that you can take a warm shower in a cold rain. 

The master bedroom features beautiful vaulted ceilings. The giant chandelier was ordered from Ebay. I can't imagine anything smaller working quite as well. 


If you haven't laughed today, be sure to read the story of how I almost had to murder some pycho-craigslist dude with a spork to get this settee for my bedroom. 


My oldest son's room.

My middle son's room.

My youngest son's room. Isn't his bed cute? My mom got this bed in several pieces after it had been dropped on delivery. We glued it back together, painted and distressed it. I love the hand-painted sailboat and nautical rope. Paint colors are Benjamin Moore Stonehouse and Mars Red.

If you like this view of my toilet, you'll be surprised to know that the post on how to add wall art inexpensively by creating a gallery wall has been our MOST VIEWED POST of all time! Who knew?
Paint color is called Woodlawn 156-F by Ace Hardware.

Don't you love a good Habitat score? You can read about my cool STAIRWELL 
light by following the link.

My VERY messy Craft Room..... Would you respect me as an artist if it were neat? No! You wouldn't. 

Make an awesome gallery wall like mine! Trust me, you'll love it!

I picked up all of the framed movie posters at a yard sale for $10. Over the years, I've replaced the movie posters with ones that are relevant to our family.

If you've ever had the dilemma of curtains that are too short, you can read how I remedied that situation in my home theater room, here. 

This is one of my favorite things Patrick has ever made. I'll be super-sad to leave this gorgeous arbor behind.



This cool water feature was made by selecting a boulder from the stone yard and then very patiently, boring a big hole all the way through it. The pump and re-circulation pond is underneath the river rock bed. LOVE this!

A few from our construction days.......


So that's the grand tour. The house is now on the market as we look for land to build our next home. You can read all about it here: http://bestcaryneighborhoods.com/

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